Councillors pass plans for £330m upgrade to Manchester's Town Hall

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Manchester City Council have approved spending £330,000 to upgrade the Town Hall in Albert Square.

The Alfred Waterhouse designed Gothic Building opened in 1877 and will be 140 years old next year.

The decision follows a report earlier this summer which found that while  it has been maintained and remains structurally sound, it is now seriously showing its age with many elements reaching the end of their natural lifespans.

 As it was designed in the 1860s, it no longer fully meets modern access and safety standards.

The report found that electrics, plumbing, heating, ventilation and lift installations are in poor condition, reflecting their age. 

As they are embedded in the fabric of the building, replacing them will involve significant building works.

The surveys also found that the condition of the building’s stonework, windows and roof is also deteriorating and will require intervention. The Town Hall also suffers from poor insulation and energy efficiency.

More than 54,000 parts of the building fabric need attention, of which 40 per cent require immediate repair or replacement – a figure which will rise to 85 per cent within five years if action is not taken. 

The cost includes improving Albert Square to ensure it can remain a focal point for popular events such as the Christmas Markets, Manchester International Festival, City Games and events celebrating Manchester sporting successes. 

It is intended that contractors to deliver the scheme will be appointed in the first half of 2017 with investigative works starting in 2018 and repair works starting in 2019 and concluding in 2023.